Volkswagen has said it expects to produce 1 million electric vehicles by 2023, hitting the milestone two years sooner than originally planned as it continues to accelerate its production of battery cars worldwide.
The German carmaker has produced 250,000 battery and hybrid electric vehicles to date, including 70,000 last year alone, and plans to ramp up its production further in order to surpass 1.5 million by 2025, it announced in early Janurary.
Volkswagen said it aims to become the world market leader in e-mobility in the coming years, with plans to invest $36.95 billion in developing the EV range across its brand by 2024.
“Our new overall plan for 1.5 million electric cars in 2025 shows that people want climate-friendly individual mobility — and we are making it affordable for millions of people,” said Thomas Ulbrich, VW board member responsible for e-mobility.
It marks a major change in direction for Volkswagen since it became mired in 2015’s “dieselgate” emissions-fixing scandal, which cost the firm billions of dollars in fines, lawsuits and market value.
But this year Volkswagen is scheduled to launch eight new electric or hybrid car models across all of its brands, including its new flagship ID.3 battery car, which will go on sale in the summer from $33,590 with a driving range of between 205 to 340 miles on a single charge, depending on the model.
The ID.3 is being manufactured at VW’s Zwickau car plant in Germany, which has been fully converted to solely produce the new EV model. From 2021, the firm said it expects 330,000 EVs to leave the assembly line each year at Zwickau.
“2020 will be a key year for the transformation of Volkswagen,” added Ulbrich. “With the market launch of the ID.3 and other attractive models in the ID. family, our electric offensive will also become visible on the roads.”
Volkswagen also has been ramping up its business interests in a number of related areas, including its recently launched EV charging infrastructure subsidiary Elli, through which it expected to develop 36,000 charging stations throughout Europe at dealerships and plants.
Meanwhile, VW will develop a 16GWh capacity battery cell factory in partnership with Swedish firm Northvolt this year in Salzgitter, Germany, with production of batteries expected to commence from the end of 2023 or beginning of 2024.
It comes as new EU car emissions regulations come into force this month designed to penalize carmakers with fines if they exceed greenhouse gas limits for their vehicles, a move which has helped spur almost all major automakers to ramp up their EV offerings.